The Simple Pleasures of Market Day

Easy Smile

Easy Smile

Shopping is in my blood. In my family,  it was our recreation. I don’t spend nearly as much time shopping as I once did but I still thoroughly enjoy it, even if I don’t plan on buying much. I love taking in the displays, whether it is the sophisticated window dressing of the elegant department stores of NYC, where I live or the beautiful piles of meticulously piled fruits and vegetables in the bazaars, often laid out right on the streets of India where I spend many months of every year. I enjoy watching the negotiation between buyer and seller and all the activity that a marketplace produces. It says so much about a place and its people.

Maybe it is a cheap shot for a photographer with all the stationary subjects but I can’t resist the color and intensity and the surprises.

Fish  Ladies

Fish Ladies

The fish market is usually situated away from the heart of the market. It has its distinct scent and its cast of whining onlookers, the cats.

Shopper in the Street

Shopper in the Street

The shoppers are always as arresting as the vendors. This woman in her blouse-less sari is breathtaking. She is a disappearing group as their daughters no longer dress this way.

Banana Piles

Banana Piles

The abundance of South India’s fruit is overwhelming. The vendors are laid back; they don’t push until you are ready to buy. The prices go down toward the end of the day.

Portrait in Yellow

Portrait in Yellow

Flowers sellers are a daily part of life in South India. Flowers are woven  into garlands for religious rituals as well as for hair ornaments. Some, like me, even decorate with them.

Returning To the Village

Returning To the Village

As market day comes to an end, everyone returns home with their purchases or their wares. Weary and worn out but hopefully with a bit more cash or some fresh food for dinner.  My bag is heavy too with a papaya and a bunch of bananas. If I’m lucky, my veggie seller has avocados, which is a rare treat in India. I wander back to my guesthouse but not before I stop for a small stainless steel tumbler of South Indian coffee. Life is simple and good there.



About ninagrandiose

I am based in NYC but travel regularly to India and Mexico. Both of these countries feel like home. In India I scour the country in search of fabulous textiles to incorporate into my clothing designs. I sit back and let the ambiance and wonder of India seep into my consciousness so I can be inspired to write about what India is for me. I bring a limited number of people to India on exclusive and intimate tours of my favorite hangouts. In Mexico I take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and dance the night away. I constantly give thanks for all this and am pleased to share it all with you.
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11 Responses to The Simple Pleasures of Market Day

  1. leggypeggy says:

    We’re travelling to southern India next month. I’ve spent many months in the north before, but this will be the first time for the south. Your photos inspire me.

    • ninagrandiose says:

      You are going to love the South, especially for its relatively laid back vibe when compared to the hectic North, which I also love. The people are very unspoiled too with the exception of Cochin where tons of tourists file through. I’ll be there soon too. Happy and safe travels! Thanks for the compliment.

  2. Wonderful again! These markets or local haats are truly a photographer’s delight. Malls may be rampant now but the quaintness of these will never die!

  3. kallins says:

    Wonderful and so vivid, I feel like I am there!

  4. Dr.V.Sridhar says:

    Lovely shots.Enjoyed. Narration reminds me of the struggles one undergoes for basic survival . Well described. I am from southern part of india and agree with ur response to leggypeggy

    • ninagrandiose says:

      Yes, indeed, there are so many levels to survival. I’m glad that you are in agreement.India is so varied. I enjoy exploring all of your amazing subcontinent. Thanks.

  5. Jackie says:

    you take some great photographs. The colours are always so vibrant.. it makes me look at them for a long time. The one of the guys with the bananas is just GREAT! Love the first one also… lady with few teeth 🙂

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